millennium

noun
mil·​len·​ni·​um | \ mə-ˈle-nē-əm How to pronounce millennium (audio) \
plural millennia\ mə-​ˈle-​nē-​ə How to pronounce millennia (audio) \ or millenniums

Definition of millennium

1a : the thousand years mentioned in Revelation (see revelation sense 3) 20 during which holiness is to prevail and Christ is to reign on earth
b : a period of great happiness or human perfection
2a : a period of 1000 years especially : one reckoned from the beginning of the Christian era at the start of the third millennium
b : a 1000th anniversary or its celebration In 2015 the city of Leipzig, Germany, celebrated its millennium.

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Did You Know?

Since in Latin mille means "thousand", a millennium lasts 1,000 years. Thus, we're living today at the beginning of the third millennium since the birth of Christ. But some religious sects, relying on a prophecy in the biblical Book of Revelation, speak of a coming millennium when Jesus will return to reign on earth for 1,000 years, evil will be banished, and all will live in peace and happiness. Members of these sects who keep themselves in a constant state of preparedness are called millenarians or millennialists.

Examples of millennium in a Sentence

The book describes the changes that have occurred in the landscape over many millennia. The year 2000 was celebrated as the beginning of the third millennium.

Recent Examples on the Web

Some cultures—such as in Scandinavia, where canines have long been both working dogs and companions—have kept pets for millennia. The Economist, "Pets have gained the upper paw over their so-called owners," 22 June 2019 Elsewhere, cannabis plants buried with the dead may be a sign that people ate parts of the plant for a similar effect (although brownies wouldn’t be invented for millennia). Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Oldest evidence of cannabis smoking found in ancient Chinese cemetery," 12 June 2019 Strains of Cannabis sativa have been used for millennia to produce rope and textiles from the stalks and oil from the seeds. Amina Khan, latimes.com, "Ancient drug paraphernalia reveals that people smoked pot in China 2,500 years ago," 12 June 2019 These volcanic isles, cut off from humans for millennia, helped shape Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. National Geographic, "Ecuadorian Amazon and the Galápagos High School Expedition," 12 June 2019 After all, storms have occurred for millennia and will continue to plague the globe for centuries to come. Dave Epstein, BostonGlobe.com, "You’re not imagining it: The pollen increase is real, and it’s linked to climate change," 11 June 2019 For millennia, mathematicians believed there wasn’t a more efficient approach. Quanta Magazine, "A New Approach to Multiplication Opens the Door to Better Quantum Computers," 24 Apr. 2019 The Eurasian steppes — thousands of miles of grassland between Hungary and China — have been the scene of human migrations for millennia. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "State of Science: Ancient DNA Starts Answering Archaeology's Big Questions," 1 Jan. 2019 The decision dovetails with President Xi Jinping’s campaign to promote the multibillion-dollar traditional Chinese medicine sector, which evolved over millennia and includes the use of herbal medicine and acupuncture. Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "China Approves Use of Rhino, Tiger Parts for Medical Treatment and Research," 30 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'millennium.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of millennium

circa 1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for millennium

New Latin, from Latin mille thousand + New Latin -ennium (as in biennium)

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Statistics for millennium

Last Updated

26 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for millennium

The first known use of millennium was circa 1638

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More Definitions for millennium

millennium

noun

English Language Learners Definition of millennium

: a period of 1,000 years
: a period of a thousand years counted from the beginning of the Christian era

millennium

noun
mil·​len·​ni·​um | \ mə-ˈle-nē-əm How to pronounce millennium (audio) \
plural millennia\ -​nē-​ə \ or millenniums

Kids Definition of millennium

1 : a period of 1000 years
2 : a 1000th anniversary or its celebration

Other Words from millennium

millennial \ -​nē-​əl \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on millennium

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with millennium

Spanish Central: Translation of millennium

Nglish: Translation of millennium for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of millennium for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about millennium

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